SANTA BARBARA - Hope for a change! The Hope School District is really cooking now!
The School Food Initiative has been working for five years to reform school lunch on the Central Coast. It started with a vision. It started with hope!
It seems fitting to end our series of School Food reports with a story about the Hope School District. It is an outstanding model of good, fresh, healthy, school food!
Natasha Fravel is the Hope School District Chef. She's a dietician, a chef, and a rookie when it comes to serving school food from scratch! This is her first school year. She wakes up before the sun to cut vegetables and prepare a nutritious meal for students.
The Orfalea Foundation through the School Food Initiative gave a grant to the Hope School District for equipment and a kitchen remodel. Now, it's a lunch program starting to feed itself. Lunch participation is up 20 percent from last year.
You won't find chicken nuggets or fingers on this school menu. They only serve real whole chicken. There's a rainbow of fresh vegetables hidden in the sauce. A school-made lunch that's more like homemade!
"We definitely started something in Southern California and it's only going to take off and get better from here", says School Chef Natasha Fravel. "Once a school gets into the rhythm of making food from scratch, it's actually a lot cheaper to make than having processed and frozen items."
"It's the best food ever I ever ate!", says one Hope Student with a carrot and a smile!
The School Chef is not only serving more greens, she's also making some green for the school. She proves schools can serve fresh food and keep the school budget in the black. She saved the Hope School District 13-hundred dollars a month just by serving local produce.
Here's hoping... The Hope School District will be an example for Central Coast school food reform.
Coming up next week, Jennifer will show us what parents can do to promote positive change in their own schools.
To learn more about the School Food Initiative and all of the other great work being done on the Central Coast thanks to the Orfalea Foundation go to www.SchoolFood.org
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:29 AM EDT2013-05-23 05:29:02 GMT
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